Novak Djokovic opened the Australian Open comeback with a first round win

Melbourne, Australia – Supporting banners, dozens of Serbian flags and loud cheers Novak DjokovicHe stuffed Rod Laver Area, giving a standing ovation marking his return to the Australian Open – a event he as soon as dominated however was unable to enter a 12 months in the past.

Djokovic admitted to welcoming a fast left-hander when he took to the court docket at 10:30pm on Tuesday, then set to work by enjoying properly and solely briefly exhibiting a touch of bother from his left hamstring. strongly registered.

He began the primary spherical match with a 125 mph jab and love, took management of that 12-point set and was on his solution to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over 75. Roberto Karpeles Baena which ended after midnight.

“Unimaginable ambiance,” Djokovic instructed the group in an on-court interview. “Thanks a lot for staying up late, everybody. Additionally, thanks for giving me such a welcome and reception that I can solely dream of.” I am very pleased to be again in Australia and again right here on the court docket the place I’ve had the most important success of my profession. ”

Djokovic’s participation is among the highlights of the primary Grand Slam event of 2023. It’s because Djokovic, 35, didn’t play a degree final season at Melbourne Park, the positioning of 9 of his main tournaments, as a result of his visa was banned and he was deported from Australia after the epic legally associated to not having any vaccine towards COVID-19.

He by no means obtained the photographs and in addition missed the US Open due to it. However the Australian authorities has since eased coronavirus-related restrictions, permitting Djokovic to come back to the nation, and in addition waived a rule that might have barred him from getting into for 3 years after the visa was revoked. He has insisted that the whole episode in January 2022 affected him deeply however he doesn’t maintain a grudge; There definitely did not appear to be any arduous emotions for him on Tuesday.

This wasn’t essentially in Djokovic’s finest type, and he appeared to point out some frustration early on as he stored yelling and muttering at coach Goran Ivanisevic and the remainder of his entourage within the stands. However Djokovic produced a tennis ball robust sufficient to take step one in direction of what he hopes will likely be his twenty second Grand Slam title to tie his opponent. Rafael NadalThe report for probably the most quantity within the historical past of tennis by a person.

Djokovic, who has spent extra weeks at primary within the ATP rankings than anybody else, additionally has an opportunity to return to that place after the following two weeks. the one that presently occupies that seat, Carlos AlcarazHe missed the Australian Open as a result of a leg damage.

Within the match that ended after 1 am, the second seed, the two-time finalist Casper Streetbypass Thomas Meshack 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-3.

earlier within the day, Andrey Rublev Beat the wild card entry Dominic Tim 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second spherical.

Thiem, runner-up on the Australian Open in 2020 and winner of the US Open the identical 12 months, missed 2021 as a result of accidents however has recovered from outdoors the highest 350 final 12 months to a spot inside the highest 100. College entry by event organizers.

“Once you see that it’s important to play towards Dominic, you realize it isn’t going to be simple. I do know he is going by some robust instances, so I want him all the perfect to get again to the extent he might be as shortly as attainable,” mentioned Rublev.

Rublev will subsequent play Australia within the qualifiers Max Purcell or Emil Rossovory Finland.

Thiem had a remedy for his abs halfway by the second set however mentioned it wasn’t severe and he wasn’t discouraged by his efficiency.

“This event does not change something, as a result of I confronted a very robust opponent,” he mentioned. “I hope I can enhance the outcomes on the South American clay.”

later tuesday, Britain’s Andy Murray35, achieved his greatest victory in years 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-6) throughout greater than 4 1/2 hours towards Matteo Berettini.

“I will really feel it – this night and tomorrow,” mentioned Murray. “However in the mean time I’m very pleased. Very happy with myself.”

This was the three-time predominant champion’s first victory over a top-20 opponent in a Grand Slam event since 2017.

Will meet Murray subsequent Thansi Kokkinakis or Fabio Fognini. Their match tonight with Kokkinakis is about 5 factors in need of profitable.

Grigor DimitrovHe received the semifinals in Melbourne in 2017 Aslan Karatsev 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-2. He’ll take it upon himself Laszlo Djer Within the second spherical.

Among the many different males who got here ahead on Tuesday was No. 8 Taylor Fritzquantity 9 Holger Ron and quantity 12 Alexander Zverev.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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